Irene Gallagher

Chief Executive Officer

Irene has worked previously as a consumer/peer worker in public health and was instrumental in developing the peer workforce program at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District where she took on the role as District Manager Peer Workforce Program. Irene was also instrumental in setting up the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College where she held the position of Education Coordinator. After leaving these two roles, Irene went on to set up her own peer-led organisation as a way of developing the peer workforce across NSW. She has worked as a passionate advocate at local, state and National levels on a number of committees and Boards and has been a past Chairperson with Being.

 

SJ Edwards

Business Development & Training Manager

 

Peter Schmiedgen

Policy Officer

 

Alisha Bourke

Project Coordinator

Alisha has several years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, most notably in providing books to disadvantaged children living across Australia. This role provided her the opportunity to work with many remote and Indigenous communities, and learn about their specific and often diverse needs. Alisha has also presented at three international conferences focussing on community engagement in the not-for-profit and university sector, and this knowledge and expertise will be of great benefit when engaging communities of people living with mental illness. Alisha believes that both her own lived experience, and people with lived/living experience of mental health issues should be at the heart of her work, and inform every step of the projects that she works on.

 

Athena Field

Training Officer

Athena has 23 years working in the Community Services Industry, in the last 4 years she has worked exclusively as a mental health peer support worker. In 2014 she was awarded by NSW Youth Action the ‘’Lifetime Achievement Award’’ for her dedicated work in the youth, mental health and community development sectors. Athena is qualified in youth, mental health and training, and is currently completing her Bachelor of Community Services. Athena advocates for inclusion, respect, participation, and outcomes focused principles to participate in and contribute to all aspects of a society that genuinely includes people living with mental illness. She effectively combines her lived and professional experience in order to build on engagement and encourage participation that are respected as equal partners sharing expertise in the design of services. In her spare time, Athena is a crochet and amigurumi artist. She has won awards, published designs in magazines and represented Australia in the annual “Amigurumi Exhibition” in New York. She utilises her craft as a mindfulness strategy for her recovery journey.